Tianli Zu
Wildlife and Nelly, 2021
Hand cut paper, water colour
100h x 100w cm
$5000 (plus postage, handling and insurance within Australia)


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When Nelly was 6-year-old, she cared for a chook that her grandma rescued. Since then, she has developed a great empathy towards animals. At present, Nelly is a wildlife carer while studying to be a vet. Nelly has turned her house into a rehab home for native wildlife, such as possums and magpies.

The urban wildlife connects us with nature. It always brings me joy to heal them and release them to nature. I was inspired by Nelly’s connection with nature. ‘Nelly’s community’ is a call to action. A call to combine creativity, science, and ecological awareness.

This papercut explores a recurring theme of my work – a harmonious co-existence of humans and nature. My grandmother first taught me papercutting as a child. In the 1980s, I went to the Shaanxi province to learn from the village women. I’ve been drawing with scissors and knives ever since.

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